Distinguished Young Women Program recognizes students


Erin Bockenstedt

Seniors Autumn Askew and Elea Kaptain joined the Distinguished Young Women program this year, and Askew won the competition and will represent the state of Iowa.

Erin Bockenstedt, Staff Writer

Seniors Autumn Askew and Elea Kaptain were not expecting to win any awards when they joined the Distinguished Young Women Program. They were looking to make new friends and have a good time.

However, Askew has recently been chosen as the Iowa Distinguished Young Woman for 2015. Askew will go to the National Finals in Mobile, Alabama to represent the entire state of Iowa, while Kaptain got second in the same competition.

“We almost agreed to do [the program] as a joke,” said Kaptain. “Then once we got there, we found it was a really good experience, it was very fun and interesting, and we met a lot of really neat people.”

Distinguished Young Women, while similar to a beauty pageant, does not focus so much on beauty but on social and academic skills. The judges look at the contestants’ grades, and judges ask questions relating to current events, world issues and sometimes asking what the contestant plans are after high school. Each girl must also do a 90-second performance of a talent of their choice.

The program also gives participants the chance to earn college scholarships, as their academic grades and competence are included in their final score.

“I was really honored when I won,” Askew said. “The 19 girls that were there, all of them were so cool, and to represent them at Nationals is a really cool feeling for me.”